As if Senator Kay Hagan needed Michael Bloomberg sticking his Gotham billionaire gun-control nose in her race.
Hagan already has a tough reelection fight. She’s one of the Obama Class of 2008 Senators. And a President’s second mid-term election historically is bad for his party.
(Not always, though. Republicans thought they would be shooting fish in a barrel in Bill Clinton’s second mid-term in 1998. Especially after Monica-gate broke in January. But, thanks to then-Speaker and philanderer Newt Gingrich, they overplayed their hand. Democrats won big. In North Carolina, John Edwards upset Lauch Faircloth.)
Still, Bloomberg puts a target squarely on Hagan by targeting the state with his TV ads.
So she faces a choice. She could do what moderate North Carolina Democrats normally do: take cover in the middle and hope the NRA crowd doesn’t come at her with guns blazing. (This blog inevitably leads to an excess of gun metaphors.)
Or she could gamble that politics has changed. Maybe gun politics has changed after Newton and other school massacres. Maybe North Carolina politics has changed with Obama’s strong showing and the potential emergence of a new Democratic majority based in urban areas and appealing to women, minorities and young people – the very people who like Bloomberg’s ads. But will those votes be there without Obama on the ballot?
You can bet that Hagan’s advisers are puzzling over this now. All politicians and political operatives are control freaks; they hate anything they can’t control. And nobody can control Bloomberg and his billions.